China's home prices rose at the slowest annual pace so far this year in May, official data showed on Wednesday.
Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities rose 5.6 percent from a year earlier, slowing from April's 6.7 percent rise, according to Reuters' calculations based on data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
In month-on-month terms, prices dropped 0.2 percent to register its first fall in two years.
In Beijing, new home prices rose 7.7 percent in May from a year earlier compared with April's 8.9 percent increase, while prices in Shanghai were up 9.6 percent versus 11.5 percent growth in April.
Markets took the news in stride; real-estate developer stocks traded mostly higher with Gemdale, Poly Real Estate and China Merchants Property up 0.4 percent each. Shanghai and Hong Kong stocks opened flat.
"My take on this is we need not worry or read too much into this because like all things in China, things happen slowly. It's a long line of adjustments and it will take shape," said David Ji, head of research & consultancy of Greater China at Knight Frank, referring to Beijing's push to rebalance its economy away from investment and towards domestic consumption.